Circle Games & Warm Ups

Over 20 ideas for circle games and warm up activities.

KS2 | 15 Mins | Teacher led



Resources to download

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  • A circle gives the chance for everyone to take part – it is inclusive.
  • It particularly is good for linking because it also gives everyone the chance to see everyone else.
  • Games help people to loosen up.
  • They can also mix up the groups. If both sets of children have already played a game in class, they have a shared currency.
  • Each game has been chosen because it gives the opportunity for exploring diversity or other issues to do with linking.
  • Taking part in an activity together reminds us why we are there – to enjoy being with each other.



  • Change Places – introduce topics which will lead to discussion later
  • Birthday Game – fun, warming up exercise,
  • Cross The Circle – this is a good game for mixing up children
  • Cards – this is a good game for mixing up children
  • Moving To The Left/Right – this is fun game for mixing up children
  • Circle Crawl – fun, mixing up game
  • Stations – fun, mixing up game
  • Zoom EEK – calming down game at the end of the session


  • Three Visible Similarities/Differences – this game gives students time to look at each other and explore – you can move from pairs to working in fours – the discussions can be very complex
  • 1,2,3 – this game really asks the students to engage with one other person
  • What’s Different Partner – concentrate on their partner and show how observant they really are
  • Describe the actions in 3’s – communication skills
  • Mirror partner – concentrating on partner/non-verbal skills
  • 1,2,3 – this game really asks the students to engage with one other person
  • 3 Facts – get to know your partner and shows how right or wrong our perceptions can be!
  • 3 Questions – get to know your partner and see what you have in common


Use aspects of the children’s and adult’s identity to get them to change places across a circle. Change places if you…have/are/like/etc. E.g. Change places if you have a brother…Change places if you like football…Change places if you like fruit etc

Follow up later in the classroom………..”When we played Change Places with our linking partners, did a lot of people change places for……………………..?

Lots of us from both schools changed places for ………………………….. What did you think about that?

Not many of our partner school changed places for ………………….. Were you surprised that not many of them liked …………………….? Why do you think that was?”


Children work in pairs and interview each other to find three visible ways that they are the same/different and then three invisible ways. Then they gather into a larger group and share the similarities and differences they have found.

Follow up later in the classroom ………………Visible similarities – what did you share?  What things were different? (you can include skin colour here and consider feelings about skin, etc)

1          2          3

Children work with a partner, facing each other. The teacher should start by signalling that this is fun and not a maths test!

  • One child starts by saying “1”, the other says “2”, the first says “3”, and so on. They should practice this for a short time.
  • Explain that now, instead of “2”, they should clap their hands. Allow time for them to practice.
  • Now instead of “1” they should stomp a foot.
  • Finally instead of “3” they make a big arc with their hands and make a big “whoo” sound.

 Follow up later in the classroom……………………..Did you enjoy working with your partner? Was it easy? Was it difficult? Why? etc. 


The teacher calls out any month of the year. All the children with birthdays in that month turn and run round the outside of the circle in a clockwise direction until they reach their place again. Liven it up by calling 3 or 4 months at the same time!


Everyone is numbered around the circle as 1,2,3,4 when you call their number, everyone must cross the circle in role as ……a panther, a moonwalker, someone stuck in the mud, a fashion model etc


Give out a set of cards with different animals on. The aim is for them to find all the children with the same animal by just making the sound or action of the animal without showing the card!


Start a child off by saying they have to change places with the person four places to their right. They have to repeat the instruction to that person and change places. The replaced person then moves four places to their right and so on. You can gradually set off as many people as possible with different instructions to the left and right.


Number the children 1 or 2 alternately around the circle. They get down on their hands and knees and when the teacher calls 1 or 2 the children with that number move one limb forward. The object of the game is to cross the circle to the other side. A lot of manoeuvring needed as children meet in the middle!


Everyone sits in a circle and is given a destination (name of a town) and in the middle, the station master stands with all the destination names on a card. He/she then chooses certain names; for example Bradford/Keighley. The children with those names have to get up and exchange seats. In the meantime the station master has to try to jump into one of their seats. More than two destinations can be called out!


A  Zoom (car) is passed around the circle. Anyone can stop it and reverse it by shouting EEK! It must then change direction. No one can say EEK more than once. If you are feeling very confident, you can send two cars in opposite directions!


In 2’s ask them to turn back-to-back and change 3 things about their appearance. Partners turn around when ready and try to guess the 3 things that have changed.


In 3’s Stood in a line. Number 1, 2 and 3. Number 1 does an action that Number 3 describes verbally to number 2 and they try to do the same action as number 3 is doing.


In 2’s Number 1 mimes actions in morning in bathroom mirror and Number 2 copies

Rub eyes, stretch and yawn, wash face and hands, brush teeth etc. Change over.


In 2’s each child says 3 facts about themselves, 1 of which is not true. Each child takes turn in guessing which one isn’t true.


In 2’s children find out 3 things out about their partner. For example their favourite colour, food, film, country to visit or dream. The object of the exercise is to get them talking!